Thursday, March 04, 2021

Fixing the front door lock

I like taking apart mechanical things, especially those with chunky fixings. When the catch on our front door stopped working properly, after being allowed to slam shut in the wind a few times, it needed investigating. 

OK, it needed replacing with an identical one, but after that I took the old unit and had a play. 

The basic device is simple enough, there's a bit that turns which shoves a cage back and forth, on to which is fitted the brass tongue bit that locates in the other side of the unit to hold the door shut. Obviously, I've not looked up the correct technical terms...

The fault was that every so often, the handle inside the door seemed to lose contact with the slidy cage and flop around. My first thought was that the cage could move out and miss contact, but there didn't seem to be a problem there - no obvious wear in the plates holding the thing together, and the two, chunky retaining screws were tightly fitted.

Eventually, after about half an hours tinkering, I spotted the cage was slightly distorted. Slamming the door on the latched unit had whacked the tongue and moved the metal. Five minutes with pliers (it's quite soft) and a hammer and the whole thing moves silky smoothly. As good as new. 

Now, we have a spare front door lock all parcelled up in the garage, where it will probably manage to vanish if we ever need it. 

Anyone else like this sort of job?


Woz said...

G'day Phil,

You have a misspelling of the word 'miss' as you have spelt it #iss.
Also while you're fixing that you have added the letter 's' to the word hours.

As I'm a word for word reader I thought you might like to fix these up.
I have noticed others in previous post but I don't get to pedantic about it as life is for enjoyment & I really enjoy your daily Blog even if it is about stuff I like to do too.

Cheers Woz

John Fletcher said...

Oh yes, very satisfying. (You might want to correct the unfortunate typo! I think you meant "miss".)

Phil Parker said...

Miss typo sorted. Hours - that's how I'd say it so I'm in two minds.

This is what happens when you have to blog in a hurry. Not something that's going to change in the next few weeks either!

Anonymous said...


So do I, anything that stops working is taken to bits to find out why and repaired if possible. I say that as a lot of modern stuff either cant be got into or uses such poor material that its often not repairable. How many door handles do you see that droop because of a broken spring - five minute job to fix although you have to get the correct pattern of spring but that what the internet helps with, yet most people will go out an buy a set of new handles.
I guess some people are practical others not and some well lets just say are 'lazy'.


John Fletcher said...

Pedant alert! It should be hour's 😉

KCD said...

I can live with the typo's, just keep churning the posts out. I also bin most things when they quit working, as parts are almost impossible to get any more.